The last month has been a very trying time for Stratford (Wis.) offensive lineman Luke Knauf. His father, Tom, went through heart bypass surgery and during therapy last Friday night, passed out and was hospitalized for two days.
But the long-time high school football coach is feeling better now, and he should be able to accompany his son when his official visits begin next week.
Meanwhile, Luke Knauf's senior season came to an end with a 9-7 loss to Hilbert. Stratford finished the season 11-1, and Knauf went 23-2 in his two seasons with Stratford.
"I was upset about that last game, but overall, I'm not (disappointed)," Knauf said. "Our stats show (my) improvement. Our running backs had a great year, our quarterback had a great year...I improved my ability to run over people, keep going and then make more blocks, and staying on blocks. My feet improved."
Because of his father's condition, Knauf rescheduled his trip to Iowa last weekend and bumped two other visits. He will now visit Iowa Dec. 6, Wisconsin Dec. 13 and Northwestern Jan. 10.
The Nebraska and Minnesota staffs have also kept close contact with Knauf, but neither of those schools have offered him a scholarship.
"I'd say Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern are all on a level playing field right now, but I'm trying to keep an open mind about everything," Knauf said.
Knauf said he's been trying to think about pros and cons of each school, and the positives heavily outweigh the negatives at each institution.
One of the primary factors in his decision will be playing time. All three schools have indicated they are leaning towards redshirting him next season, but he wants to have a chance to play in the next 2-3 years.
"That's the major question, and I've asked all of these coaches that question already, if I would play in a year or two or have to sit," Knauf said. "That's what I'm looking for right now."
Knauf said Coach Jim Hueber's style is most similar to the coaching he's been used to since first grade. But he isn't opposed to playing in a more laid-back coaching style, such as Iowa.
"I think I have an open mind about that too. I'm not really picky on that," Knauf said. "I've had coaching staffs in basketball that are really laid back, and it's not a bad style. I like both styles, so that's not going to affect my decision either way."
Knauf said he was nominated and can't wait to play in next summer's Shrine Bowl all-star game, so he can take a look at some more coaching styles and have another chance to showcase his skills.
But his recruiting decision will be made over the next two months. In fact, he didn't rule out the possibility of committing somewhere before all three visits are through.
"Whenever it clicks," Knauf said. "It could be at Northwestern, it could be at Iowa, it could be at Wisconsin. I just don't know."
Luke Knauf Talks about Upcoming Decision
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